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USF's Initial Review Letter for Conduct Code Violations

If you are arrested or given a "notice to appear" for a criminal offense and that information is given to the USF Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, then an initial review notification will be sent to your USF student email address.

At the initial review, you will be asked about the facts of the case. For criminal cases, such as any allegation of sexual assault or another type of felony offense, you might be better off attending the hearing with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you understand ways to avoid a notation in your disciplinary hearing or how to obtain "deferred adjudication."

Attorney for USF's Initial Review for a Conduct Code

If you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to attend the initial review with you, the attorney can also help you understand the consequences of a disciplinary action such as losing a scholarship, being evicted from student housing, or being expelled from school entirely.

Contact the attorneys at Sammis Law Firm to discuss your case. We are experienced in representing college students at USF charged with a crime or facing a disciplinary action.

Call (813) 250-0500.


Notification of the Alleged Conduct Code Violation at USF

Check your email. In most cases, you will receive a notification via email that you received a letter from the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at the University of South Florida. Many of these notifications tell you to follow the steps below on your computer (not your cellular device) to view your letter(s):

  1. Click on the following link: https://usf-advocate.symplicity.com/sso/students/student_login.
  2. Use your USF NetID and your USF NETID Password to access the website.
  3. After accessing the website, you will be taken to your individual Home tab. Click on the Letters tab.
  4. Click on the magnifying glass icon in the Action column to view the specific letter.

If you do not respond to the content located at the link above, decisions regarding the incident being investigated may be made in your absence. When you follow these steps you can open the “Notification Letter.” The letter is entitled the “Student Rights and Responsibilities Request to Attend an Initial Review Meetings - DO NOT DELETE.”

The letter will notify you that the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities has received information indicating that you may have been involved with one or more possible violations of the USF Student Code of Conduct. The letter will notify that the information sent to USF indicates that on a certain date you may have allegedly violated the following section(s) of the Code:

(4.01) Theft

(4.02) Misuse of Property

(4.03) Misuse of Materials 

(4.04) Weapons, Firearms, or Explosive Devices

(4.05) Harassment 

(4.06) Stalking 

(4.07) Hazing 

(4.08) Disorderly Conduct

(4.09) Disruptive Conduct

(4.10) FalseAlarm

(4.11) Threats of Violence 

(4.12) Injurious Behavior 

(4.13) Reckless Injurious Behavior 

(4.14) Sexual Harassment

(4.14)(b) Battery/Rape/Violence: 

(4.14)(c) Sexual Misconduct 

(4.15) Misuse or Possession of Illegal Drugs  

(4.16) Gambling 

(4.17) Misuse of Alcohol

(4.18) False Information 

(4.19) Bribery 

(4.20) Failure to Respond to Instructions 

(4.21) Violation of USF System Policy and/or Local Ordinance, State or Federal Law (as determined by the University) - 

(4.22) Violation of Probation

(4.23) Complicity

The notification usually says:

We would like to speak with you regarding this matter as soon as possible. Please call the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities by a certain date to arrange an appointment with a USF “Initial Review Officer” to discuss the matter. If the office has not heard from you by this date the Initial Review Officer will render a decision without the benefit of your input.

The possible outcome of this decision could affect your opportunities to be involved and engaged as a USF student. Find more information at www.sa.usf.edu/srr to read about the Student Code of Conduct. The meetings are usually conducted at ALN 109. The letter will thank you for your “anticipated cooperation.”


What Happens at the Initial Review Hearing at USF?

When you arrive at the hearing, you can have an attorney sit in the room with you. You will be asked several questions about the incident. You will also be permitted to ask questions about the process. 

The goal in these cases is getting the office to either take no action (and close the case) or to decide NOT to charge you with any Violation of USF Student Code of Conduct or proceed to a formal hearing procedure. In some cases, this promise not to charge you will the violation will be conditioned on you fulfilling certain conditions.


USF Code of Conduct/4.15 Misuse or Possession of Illegal Drugs

For example, if you are accused of being in possession of marijuana, you might be required to complete "Marijuana 101 Part 1." This course requires that you take the enclosed referral form and pay the $50.00 fee at the Cashier’s Office, Room 1039 in the Student Services building. You will be given a white receipt. Then you must contact Student Rights and Responsibilities at 813-974-9443 to make arrangements to stop by ALN109 to receive the password and instructions for the program.

You might also be required to complete "Marijuana 101 Part 2" Online Program. The letter will specify when Part 1 must be completed (usually 3 weeks from the date of the letter). Part 2 of the program must be completed by the deadline listed in the letter.

If you do not fulfill these provisions, you will be charged with the following violations of the Student Code of Conduct and still have to complete the sanctions listed above.

USF Code of Conduct/4.15 Misuse or Possession of Illegal Drugs

The letter will explain that although no formal disciplinary action is being taken at this time, this incident is a matter of record in this office. Failure to fulfill the conditions enclosed will result in a formal disciplinary action.


Disciplinary Record Release Form

Before your criminal defense attorney can see your disciplinary record, you must sign a Disciplinary Records Release Form and deliver the form to the University of South Florida (USF) Office of Rights and Responsibilities.

USF maintains compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)(20 U.S.C. Par. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) and the Florida Statute Statute Section 1002.22 and 1002.221, with respect to the confidentiality of educational records and the rights that students have with respect to their educational records.


Notification Letter from the Initial Review Officer at USF

If you received a notification letter from an Initial Review Officer the University of South Florida (USF) Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. We can represent you on the underlying criminal case and the disciplinary action taken by USF.

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call 813-250-0500.


This letter was last updated on Friday, December 1, 2017.